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Starting a window cleaning business - Equipment you need, suppliers to use and trade organisations to join, etc.

Working in pairs and hourly rate?

Posted by Steve_Richardson (Steve_Richardson), 11 March 2004

I am talking with a friend about going into business together, and wondered how that would affect potential earnings/house done per hour ect.

When I was working on my own my daily rate would fluctuate depending on which houses I was doing (well priced, quick houses ect), but I am not sure that if there was two of us working together that you would necesarily double your days takings?

What do you think?  

ie - if I eaned £80 on my own in a day, would we make £160 (the 2 of us) working together in a day? I am trying to weigh up the potential ramifications (my gib word for the day) as I really need to maximise my earnings only working part time.

Any comments for or against would be most helpful!

Posted by james44 (james44), 11 March 2004
hi  steve  you would have to earn more than £160 per day , if you have a partner and split 50/50 at £160 you would be still on £80 a day unless you pay them less, saying that 2 pepole working together should do more houses per hour& earn more,why not work with them for a week or two to see what can be done
Posted by Steve_Richardson (Steve_Richardson), 11 March 2004

the idea is we would split 50/50. To start with I am not looking to make a fortune, just enough!

We may just have to give it a go, but we are both in the situation of needing to earn asap, (my friend having just lost his job and for me the flooring work with another friend is a bit slow.), so I'm not sure if we can afford to "suck it and see"...if it doesn't work out.

Not really sure am I......Sad

Anymore comments welcome!

Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 11 March 2004
steve just go for it and see hat happens.

two of u should easily do a hundred and sixty pounds a day,just make sure u price your jobs right
Posted by sc (sc), 12 March 2004
Your work rate will struggle to be double. You may be able to clean a house twice as fast, but you wont be able to walk to the next house twice as fast.

If you don't have a good round, and your houses are quite spread out then walking time will affect you a lot. A 20 minute house can be turned into a 10 minute house but the minute walk to get to it will always be a minute walk. It doesn't sound a lot but in an hour you might spend nearly 10 mins in between jobs, which is a full house. Instead of doing 6 an hour, you'll be doing 5.

I don't think there is much point in working with someone else unless your going to make money off them.

Why do you want to work with someone else?
Posted by Steve_Richardson (Steve_Richardson), 12 March 2004
Why do you want to work with someone else?

The company...Smiley To be honest it was more his idea than mine as I've worked alone before with no problems but he says he would need the help to et going!. But we are friends and he said he needed the help to get up and go with somehting like WC'ing so I though we could give it a go? Perhaps??!!

Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 12 March 2004

You don't really sound convinced that this is a good idea. Why not suggest to your pal that you can work together for 4 weeks or so, by then he'll be confident in his own ability and you'll have passed on a few tips and "sold" him a membership for this board  Wink

Explain to him that sooner or later all partnerships falter - and usually with a pretty acrimonious fallout between the two partners too - after a while the more practical one feels that he's doing more of the hard work and either wants more monetary reward, or starts getting rather ratty as to how he's pulling the other one along.

This is always worse if you're mates, tell him that you value his friendship more than a working relationship which will eventually turn sour.

I don't care what either of you say just now - it will go pear-shaped.

Anyone got horror-stories about partnerships going iffy? Oh, and by the way, you're both responsible for the other one's business, and possibly personal, debts.

Do you get the impression I think partnerships are a bad idea? Hope I don't appear biased or anything!

How do you think he'd take the idea of being an employee? Or you being his? Much easier if one is boss and the other one knows it.
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 12 March 2004
There's no doubt for me, I prefer working with someone else.  But, I work with my wife and I dont need to worry about it being a "business" partnership as such.  We can have a laugh, go for lunch together etc.  I think its a lonely job on your own, but some find it okay.

Before this though, I have been in a similar situation to you, and it can cause some problems.  Maybe one person is faster than the other- this can cause annoyance.  Maybe one person isnt very good at detailing and makes the customers complain- more annoyance.  You arrive at his house all ready for work with a full bucket and the ladders strapped on and...he's still in bed.  Annoyance.  He's a friend so you dont want to be nasty.

What we ended up doing is working on our own some days, but then teaming up for maybe a day or two a week.  Morning we did my work, afternoon his work.  But keep it seperate, this way you have the freedom to develop your own round the way you want it.

And by the way, for where you live £80 a day is way not enough.  Put up your prices, charge loads!  Have a look at this :;action=display;num=1077804680

Where you are, you should easily be able to charge as much as I do.  Dont be shy about it, a high price gives an implication of quality, which of course a pro who is friendly,smart & chatty can deliver.  Make £125 your goal (an easy day) with £150 earning you a reward, cinema with the female or a meal out for example.

Theres a shortage of windowcleaners, but no shortage of customers

Posted by Steve_Richardson (Steve_Richardson), 13 March 2004
I've also worked with my wife for a bit last time I WC'ed and it was good fun. But when it got to winter I had to battle on by myself!

I've been giving it a lot of thought myself and weighed up the positive and negative comments and have come to the conclusion that my aim is to earn money to live and to do it as simply as possible as I'm all for keeping your life simple!

I can think of far too many negatives and only a couple of possible positives to doing it so I think I may suggest getting our own work for now and then working together every now and then.

You arrive at his house all ready for work with a full bucket and the ladders strapped on and...he's still in bed.  Annoyance. this I could see happening daily Smiley

I also looked at the "How Much Would you Charge for These Houses?" thread before and need to get my head around the prices as they are now, 6 years later from when I finished WC last time.

I made the mistake first time around of charging too little on some work which haunted me for years! But on others I overcharged without realising and when my speed increased I was making good profit. I usually found on these higher prices ones I would have to make the job last longer if the customer was in, in case they thought I was ripping them off....!!

I will take another look at that thread as:

Where you are, you should easily be able to charge as much as I do.  Dont be shy about it, a high price gives an implication of quality, which of course a pro who is friendly,smart & chatty can deliver.  Make £125 your goal (an easy day) with £150 earning you a reward, cinema with the female or a meal out for example.

We do have a lot of WC's in Shrewsbury, not as many as before though as most of my friends who were have moved onto carpet cleaning, floor laying ect.

Mostly, the only WC's I see around now seem to be the...I'm afraid to say it...drunks that want some spare cash, but of course I do see a few well known pro WC's too.

If I can earn £125 per day I would be v.happy...I will keep you all informed.

Thanks for the comments and help guys.

Now on to plan my killer marketing campaign...(or an ad in the local paper as it's also known!)

Posted by replacement (Justin R), 13 March 2004
Hi All,
        I started out a few weeks back now and if i had an parnter atm we would be earning like £1 per hr each, plus like others have said already the rows your have later is not worth it as your lose a friend.

Why dont you start on your own and once you get going get your mate to come along with you then you could help and advise him, but then the end of the day you could both be fighting for the same work.

Real hard one this, just do what you think is right. I am sure your friend will understand.

Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 14 March 2004
I have looked into taking someone one, but in the end I think I will keep as a one man band.

Someone I know has took some one on, but I think has only found it economical by paying his helper low ( an invitation to shoddy work eventually), and then claiming that he is paying him †even lower (£77) so then he doesn't pay tax, nat ins, and lower employers liability ins.

Ok until you get caught I suppose, but why pay employer liability if your not doing it properly. The insurance company will surely investigate a claim, find them out and not pay out.  Huh

A waste of money I think, not to mention insurance fraud. Then the slight matter of tax evasion. If this is the best way of pairing up, I don't think I will bother.

In order not to work this way, surely you need to more than double the hourly rate. Huh
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 14 March 2004
Your quite right, if you pay peanuts you only get monkeys.
I pay my guy £10 per hour but his work is top class every time, he's quick, totally honest, customer friendly and has a real interest in seeing the company grow.
Admittedly guy's like this are few and far between but when you find one, hang on to him / her and pay them a decent wage.
Posted by D.Salkeld_Ltd (D.Salkeld_Ltd), 14 March 2004
Well said Denzil,

I only wish I could pay my lads that rate they get £7 -£8 per hour, on the books and 4 weeks holiday.

David Salkeld
Posted by Steve_Richardson (Steve_Richardson), 15 March 2004
Well. all's well and ends well  Cheesy

I had a chat with my mate tongith and he agreed that it would work out better to work on our own initially and to do the odd day together when we get going.

What made it easier was the fact that another WC friend of mine is giving me a load of work and a different friend of our's (who is giving up WC) is going to give my mate a load of work we are both sorted with a ready-made round!

When I pick up my roof rack tomorrow I will be ready to rock and roll  Grin

Thanks for all the advice guys...!

Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 16 March 2004
I'm glad its worked out okay.  I found that working together a couple of days a week was good.  I used to save some awkward houses for those days so that my friend could foot the ladders for me, which I also did for him.

Its nice to be given work, watch those prices though, put up if necessary when they've been done a few times and once you have enough work, don't be afraid to replace it with better paying stuff.


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